Is there anyone out there in GetReligionLand who speaks the English dialect called “British” well enough to help me break the code in the following story by John Daniszewski (God bless you) of the Los Angeles Times? It concerns the rise of the ever-so-slightly modish David Cameron as the new leader of the Tory Party at the ripe old age of 39, which is even younger than a TV cyberanchor here in the USA.
Please understand that I know all about the rising tide of secularization in modern Great Britain and I know that social issues do not play much of a role over there.
Please understand that I also know that the Brits are horrified by what many consider the rise of the insane theocrats on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Nevertheless, I sense some cultural issues lurking between the lines of this part of the story:
With British voters having given the Labor Party’s Tony Blair a third term as prime minister in May, Cameron was expected to pledge to put the Conservatives back in touch with ordinary people — just as the last three party chairmen have promised. …
The Conservative Party has been dogged by the perception that it is a declining club for white, elderly, hunt-riding, middle-class, rural and suburban southern Englanders who belong to the Church of England. (Cameron noted Tuesday that women are “scandalously underrepresented” in the party and pledged to correct that.)
Can anyone out there help me with the translation?
You see, I tend to think of the Church of England as a force on the left side of the cultural divide and, sorry, but I get that impression by reading British newspapers as well as following the political and doctrinal exploits of the Episcopal Church here in America and the Anglican Church of Canada. And what does the phrase “back in touch with ordinary people” mean in England, as opposed to here in America? Does that have religious or secular overtones in politics over there? And, if you read on, you will also notice that Cameron is using “compassionate conservatism” lingo and we all know where that came from.
Input. Need Input.